By Adam Hood – KLTV Contributor
This game was reviewed on PlayStation 5
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a fantastic game. The latest edition to Insomniac’s Marvel game universe takes place one year after the events of Spider-Man 2018. Peter Parker is going away for a few weeks, and he leaves Miles to protect the city, believing that Miles is ready to go solo.
Compared to the previous game, this is a shorter experience, but that does not take away from what the game achieves. It is roughly half the first game’s length. Still, it’s clear that this was a design decision to show only what was needed and not just pad extra hours of content into the game.
This is seen with the pace of the narrative and how naturally it comes together. The writing is very clever, with the story being very emotional while at the same time still having that Spider-Man wit. I become so engrossed in the story and Miles’s journey to becoming his own Spider-Man that once I finished, I’d mostly forgotten that Peter had even gone away.
While keeping away from key story spoilers, The game begins with Miles and Peter taking down Rhino and ending up in a significant conflict between the Roxxon corporation and The Underground, led by the new villain The Tinkerer.
According to the game, this confrontation between Roxxon, a major conglomerate, and The Underground, a crime group that has recently risen to prominence, started out as a small turf war but quickly becomes a full-scale conflict. Along with his friends and family, Miles’s mission is to stop this conflict from harming the city and his home neighbourhood of Harlem.
The game’s main plot follows a linear path, and the game benefits from this design choice. There are some side missions that lead to some enjoyable experiences, with some featuring returning characters from the previous game and others starring locals from Miles’ neighbourhood.
While many elements of the game design mirror Spider-Man 2018, Miles is not just a copy of Peter. All the animations for his character are unique and designed to show how different he is from Peter.
A great example of this is shown in the web-swinging mechanics. As an experienced web-slinger, Peter’s movements were always very fluid and purposed. In this game, Miles is still quite new to the spider-man life, and it’s noticeable in his more erratic movement’s when navigating the city.
Speaking of web-slinging, Insomniac has taken advantage of the new Haptic Feedback of the PS5 DualSense. So when you swing, the R2 button will have more tension as you swing in an arc.
The map is almost identical to the previous game, with some changes such as Roxxon Plaza or a new statue of Stan Lee in his memory. There’s a lot of extra detail in the environment thanks to the power of the new machine, and there are even some graphics options in the menu to tune the experience to how you like it.
In my opinion, the game is best played in the Performance RT mode. This mode focuses on 60 FPS (Frames per Second), which reduced Ray Tracing compared to the Fidelity mode.
Realtime Ray Tracing is a relativley new technology that makes reflections look much more natural and realistic, but it is quite demanding, hence the option to turn it off and run at a higher frame rate.
The game is smooth and incredibly beautiful even in performance mode and I would recommend it for the best experience.
You will also be able to take advantage of the PS5 SSD when fast travelling as its speed is short enough that it is near-instant in loading to your objective.
This is made even better with the new Activity Cards for the PS5, which allows you to jump to specific side objectives almost instantly, saving you a lot of time.
With Great Power…
When it comes to Miles’ abilities, he has all of Peters’s basic powers, punches, kicks and web attacks. However, he also has the addition of his two new powers.
These are his special venom attacks and invisibility. His Venom powers allow Miles to stun and cause extra damage to enemies. The ability is charged by landing regular attacks and can be unleashed by specific button combos. Like other abilities, Venom can also be upgraded in a variety of ways and can even be used to regain health in and out of combat.
One neat touch is that when Miles activates his Venom powers, you will feel a distinct hum through the DuelSense controller.
His other ability, which comes a bit later in the game, allows Miles to turn invisible for a limited amount of time. This can be used in conjunction with a variety of stealth abilities.
Through the narrative of the game, Miles learns to gets to grips with his powers and how his Venom and invisibility and how they quickly become a part of his main arsenal.
Specific attacks like the venom burst can be used to stun surrounding enemies. The Venom dash to help take down more challenging foes. Overall the venom powers fit nicely with the web-slinging and gadgets that Miles has at his disposal and help make him feel distinct from Peter.
The missions in this game are smaller in scope but ultimately benefit from the more personal touch that is weaved through the story. Virtually every aspect of this game showcases Miles’s fantastic character and heartfelt story while providing enjoyable and varied beat-em-up combat. The visuals are amazing, and the story is written beautifully. If you go into this game just seeing him as the ‘other Spider-Man’, you will end with the feeling that he’s the only Spider-Man that matters.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is currently available on PS4 and PS5.